PS390 Study Guide - Final Guide: Gestalt Psychology, Reductionism, Consumerism
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LESSON 6 LEARNING OUTCOMES
1. Describe your position about the impact of Gestalt Psychology on modern day
psychology in the United States
Gestalt theorists stressed that reductionism renders phenomena devoid of meaning and studying
individual elements without consideing their whole renders findings disconnected from human
experience. I think that this viewpoint influenced modern notions that humans are not devoid of
context and our mental processes are interconnected. Additionally, Gestalt theorists focused on
perception and consciousness, whereas behaviourists at their time exclusively studied behaviour
and ignored mental processes. Thus, Gestalt theory may have impacted modern US psychology
by redirecting its focus towards mental processes rather than behaviour exclusively.
2. Describe socio-economic conditions and scientific developments after World War I
Workers were agitated because of low wages and oppressive working conditions. Consumerism
boomed and psychologists helped advertises market products. When the stock-market crashed,
Psychologists were tasked with helping to maintain economic structures and political institutions.
3. Compare the tenets and influence of the following principle schools of thought following
WWI: Gestalt theory, field theory, higher nervous activity, neobehaviourism
Gestalt theory stressed a holistic perspective and emphasized the dynamic unity of
subjective experience. They argue that the mind organizes elements into a meaningful form.
They also argued for the importance of insight learning, which they believed was superior to
incremental learning promoted by behaviourists. They also argued that subjective experience of
one's environment shapes their beaviour. Gestalt theorists operated from a different